There’s a real sense of Marty McFly with Troy Redfern, the artist straddling both the past and the present with equal aplomb. As well as this ability to time travel, he can also take you on a journey across the Atlantic to places that will seem like an alien planet compared to the gently rolling English countryside or the bustling and drab towns.
Troy Redfern – The Fire Cosmic (RED7 Records)
Release Date: 6 August 2021
Words: Paul Monkhouse
Redfern, though, doesn’t need a DeLorean or anything fancy like that. All he needs is his trusty guitar, a microphone and listeners attentive ears.
An intoxicating picture
The Fire Cosmic truly taps into a vast canvas of (mainly) American rock from the past fifty years, weaving together elements that paint a compelling and intoxicating picture that says more with one song than many books can in 500 pages. A lifetime love of music has been distilled into these ten tracks, and the passion shines throughout, Redfern dipping into blues, country and garage rock as he brings the songs to life, each with their distinctive character.
The album opens with a roar, the heavy and propulsive Scorpio mixing an authentic 1960’s Dick Dale vibe with the sort of feral attitude the MC5 made their own in a real slap to the senses. Waiting For Your Love and Lay That Love Down are dirty desert rock blues with swing, the Southern fried sludge of One Way Ticket and the roaring, dark and dangerous monster that is On Fire typify the sort of hard-hitting guitar work Redfern has made his stock in trade, perfectly illustrated here.
Full panoply of hues
It’s not all just full-blooded, heavily crunching, six-string blitzing on The Fire Cosmic, though, far from it, the album just so full of the many sonic textures of Americana and beyond. Listening to Redfern, you get a full panoply of hues, a joyful trip thumbing through a much-loved collection of classics from the ’70s that covers The Eagles, Free, Skynyrd, Jackson Browne and the Allmans amongst others with a bit of Sabbath thrown in there.
Along with his rich, characterful vocals, the guitarist can certainly thrill with his own fretwork, though, the tasteful solo on Love And War suitably powerful to match the songs sky-scraping ambition.
In an album of all killer, no filler, there’s no end of highlights, but it’s when Redfern takes his foot off the gas that he shines the most and the likes of epic widescreen Country rocker Ghosts, and stunning closer Stone manage to sound huge without throwing all but the kitchen sink in. Even when he goes really quiet on Saving Grace, you can’t help but be swathed in a cocoon of pure sound, losing your heart to the gentle embrace.
It’s been a great year for new album releases, and The Fire Cosmic is up there with the best.
Troy Redfern is a living testament to the potency of great material, superb playing and the power of an honest, raw heart full of soul.
The Troy Redfern Band
Troy Redfern – Vocals, Guitars
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – Guitars (Track 5)
Darby Todd – Drums
Dave Marks – Bass, Piano, Keys, Percussion
Recorded & Mixed At Rockfield Studios By Paul’ Win’ Winstanley
Assistant Engineer – Joe Jones
Mastered By Frank Arkwright At Abbey Road Studios
The Fire Cosmic
1. Scorpio (4:50)
2. Waiting For Your Love (3:34)
3. One Way Ticket (3:50)
4. Love & War (4:37)
5. On Fire (4:09)
6. Lay That Love Down (3:23)
7. Ghosts (4:02)
8. Saving Grace (4:07)
9. Sanctify (3:46)
10. Stone (5:50)